Mr. Bones

Mr. Bones

Twenty Stories

Book - 2014
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"A dark and bitingly humorous collection of short stories from the "brilliantly evocative" (Time) Paul Theroux A family watches in horror as their patriarch transforms into the singing, wise-cracking lead of an old-timey minstrel show. A renowned art collector relishes publicly destroying his most valuable pieces. Two boys stand by helplessly as their father stages an all-consuming war on the raccoons living in the woods around their house. A young artist devotes himself to a wealthy, malicious gossip, knowing that it's just a matter of time before she turns on him. In this new collection of short stories, acclaimed author Paul Theroux explores the tenuous leadership of the elite and the surprising revenge of the overlooked. He shows us humanity possessed, consumed by its own desire and compulsion, always with his carefully honed eye for detail and the subtle idiosyncrasies that bring his characters to life. Searing, dark, and sure to unsettle, Mr. Bones is a stunning new display of Paul Theroux's "fluent, faintly sinister powers of vision and imagination" (John Updike, The New Yorker)"--
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780544324022
Branch Call Number: SS THER
Characteristics: 359 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Theroux, Paul
Alternative Title: 20 stories


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Jan 07, 2015

Many of Theroux's novels depict people at the mercy of their personal obsessions. The father in The Mosquito Coast and the travellers in the Elephanta Suite come to mind. In his travel books, he faces his own relentless desire to continue along the road, despite danger and discomfort. "What am I doing here?" he asks himself in Last Train to Zona Verde.

For readers wanting more, the stories in Mr. Bones provide a rich buffet of compulsive characters, from the demonic to the merely delusional. As an observer and portrayer of human frailty, Theroux has no equal in the world of letters.

Oct 26, 2014

Paul Theroux has traveled around the world, even if it wasn't in 180 days, he has seen it all over. Some of the best travel writing seen in the past 40 years has been at the capable hands of the talented hands of Mr. Theroux. Now in his 70s, his travel books are slowing down, but his fiction writing continues to grow. Of course Theroux's writing has always blurred a line between "Is it fiction or non-fiction?"
And there is Mr. Bones, his latest collection, 20 short stories. There were pieces in this I enjoyed a lot, and some that I glossed over. That happens in short story writings in my experience. Some of the most entertaining- a wealthy man who begins buying, and destroying, great works of art in public displays for no good reason; the creepy world of a father descending in to Vaudeville madness (Mr. Bones himself); a collection of love stories that feel almost pulled out of true confessions.
I always enjoy the writings of Theroux; this was a worth addition to my reading.


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